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Research

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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

News and events

ANROWS hosts events as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.

ANROWS

About ANROWS

ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

Resources

To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.

UPCOMING ANROWS WEBINAR

Listen up! Hear from young people about their understandings of domestic violence

Knowledge translation and dissemination is a key part of ANROWS’s unique function in the DV sector. We are currently working with a group of young people, R4Respect, the Queensland Family & Child Commission Youth Advisory Group and Digital Storytellers on bringing to life the findings from the forthcoming ANROWS qualitative research study “It depends on what the definition of domestic violence is”: How young people conceptualise domestic violence and abuse.

Following on from the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) which found there were some “areas of concern” within young people’s understandings of domestic violence, this upcoming study explores how young people define and make sense of domestic violence in their own terms.

You can hear more about this research at our webinar on Monday 20 June where the report, as well as a series of videos building on its findings, will be launched. Body Safety Australia will facilitate a conversation with a panel of young people passionate about preventing violence against women about the report’s findings and implications for policy and practice.

By centring young people’s voices and knowledge of domestic violence, this research, the webinar and the videos will be of value for policymakers and practitioners developing relevant, consistent and effective education, policy and primary prevention initiatives aimed at preventing and reducing violence against women.

There will also be a live Q&A.

The webinar is open to anyone and free to attend. Live captioning will be available for the webinar and a recording of the webinar will be made available on the ANROWS website.

REGISTER NOW

UNDERSTANDING ADOLESCENT VIOLENCE IN THE HOME

Urgent need for research and policy to better understand young people with disability who use violence in the home

Adolescent violence in the home (AVITH) describes a range of violent, abusive and intimidating behaviours used by young people within their families, typically towards parents and siblings, and often inclusive of familial and non-familial caregivers and grandparents. While this complex form of family violence is gaining increased attention from researchers, service providers and policymakers, there remains a lack of conceptual clarity, which significantly impacts the effectiveness of service delivery. This problem is compounded when violence is used in the home by young people with disability.

Prior research has highlighted the need for academics, practitioners and policymakers alike to better understand the complexity and diversity of AVITH. New research from ANROWS reveals that there is an extensive gap in the literature about the use of violence in the home by young people with disability. While young people with disability are often described as overrepresented in AVITH studies, this new research demonstrates the lack of data on what underpins violence in this context.

Towards a socio-ecological understanding of adolescent violence in the home by young people with disability: A conceptual review considers the existing international literature on AVITH and young people with disability. It finds a distinct lack of research overall and an absence of research that considers disability differently to its construction as an individual-level risk marker, like that of age, for AVITH. This individual-attribute approach to disability must change if AVITH research and policy is to align with Australia’s international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and key disability legislation, policy and planning frameworks, including Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2023.

Research must explore the perspectives of young people and their families with an intersectional understanding that considers the robust set of social determinants that impact the lives of people with disability if we are to understand young people’s use of violence in the home. These perspectives and evidence of the experiences of young people with disability will be critical in building a national evidence-based response.

ANROWS CEO Padma Raman welcomed the new report, noting how important it will be to close the significant evidence gap at the intersection of adolescent violence and the experience of young people with disability.

“This project will form a critical foundation for the national evidence base, informing policy and service design in this emerging field. This report forms part of a larger body of work ANROWS has undertaken to better understand AVITH, domestic violence, young people with disability, and the places at which they intersect,” she said.

“Enhanced understanding of AVITH and young people with disability is urgently required to improve the effectiveness of service delivery designed to prevent and respond to violence within the home. This is an essential part of ANROWS’s goal to end violence against all women and children.”

Project lead, Associate Professor Georgina Sutherland, described the report as an initial step towards building a better understanding of AVITH and young people with disability. “We hope that the report can contribute to a more nuanced conversation in research, policy and practice about this very complex issue.”

The report, published on Monday 9 May, forms the first part of a project to build a framework to prevent and respond to young people with disability who use violence in the home. The second report in this project is an in-depth qualitative inquiry that will present the perspectives of families and key sector stakeholders. The second report will ensure that lived experience informs a prevention and response framework.

NEW RESEARCH REVEALS MORE ABOUT THE CHILDHOODS OF YOUNG PEOPLE INVOLVED WITH THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM

For the first time: Adverse childhood experiences mapped across age and living arrangements

In a recently published ANROWS research report, a Griffith University research team led by Professor John Rynne addressed critiques of the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) checklist by considering age and living arrangements when looking at instances of abuse, neglect and household dysfunction in childhood.

Exploring the onset, duration, and temporal ordering of adverse childhood experiences in young people adjudicated for sexual offences: A longitudinal qualitative study finds, as has long been thought, that the ACEs checklist requires updating.

In this report, the authors enhanced the existing checklist by adding two new categories which captured changes to both caregivers and accommodation. The developmental histories of young people being adjudicated for a sexual offence were analysed and it was seen that frequent changes in accommodation and caregiving arrangements, as well a concentration of maltreatment within the first six years of life, were highly prevalent.

ANROWS CEO Padma Raman welcomed the report, noting that the project aims to enhance knowledge of the lived experiences of young people.

“With our greater understanding of the impact of cumulative harm, this project considers more than simply the presence or absence of adverse events in childhood. The additional detail of ongoing and co-occurring negative childhood experiences, and severely interrupted caregiver attachments, will support efforts to inform effective intervention at an earlier age.”

The second report in this project will examine the rates of co-occurring ACEs during childhood for a much larger sample of young people who have perpetrated sexual offences, and will be published later in 2022.


A NEW FOCUS ON HOW TO REDUCE DV REOFFENDING

ANROWS partners with the AIC for the CEASE Domestic Violence Program trial

ANROWS has partnered with the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) for a new police-led, multi-agency-focused, deterrence-based intervention: the Coordinated Enforcement and Support to Eliminate (CEASE) Domestic Violence Program trial. The CEASE Program aims to prioritise speed and consistency of police responses with perpetrators to reduce domestic violence reoffending.

AIC research from 2019 shows that prior offending is a strong predictor of future offending: around 50 per cent of known domestic and family violence perpetrators commit a further domestic violence offence within four years. In earlier research from 2018, the AIC found the risk of repeat offending is greatest in the weeks following an incident.

The CEASE Program is modelled on the Intimate Partner Violence Initiative developed by the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College in New York. Drawing on the principles of focused deterrence, in close partnership with other agencies, the CEASE Program involves the targeted application of a wide range of innovative tools and tactics by police, to hold perpetrators accountable and deter them from further offending. This is applied to domestic violence offenders with an aim to more effectively deter perpetrators from committing further abuse by providing direct communication of consequences and avenues of support. Importantly, the CEASE Program will provide timely and targeted support for victims and survivors.

New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb, when speaking at the recent Domestic Violence NSW Conference, asked what more can be done to prevent the offender from committing a repeat offence. Commissioner Webb highlighted the need for consequences, not necessarily punitive – offenders must know there are consequences, she said, adding that “one death is too many”.

The CEASE Program builds on years of research by ANROWS and the AIC into effective responses to domestic violence and will contribute to the evidence base on innovative responses to short-term domestic violence risk. It is anticipated that the CEASE Program will contribute to enhanced collaborative policing and service responses to domestic violence in Australia.

Supported by ANROWS, the AIC will lead the implementation and evaluation of the CEASE Program trial over three sites around Australia over the next three years. The chosen sites will be announced in early August after applications from around Australia have been evaluated.

More information on the CEASE Program can be found on the ANROWS website.

ANROWS 2022 STAKEHOLDER SURVEY RESULTS

ANROWS’s authoritative voice, resources and research vital to DV sector

ANROWS would like to thank the 403 stakeholders who took the time to complete our 2022 Stakeholder Survey. With 95 per cent of respondents having engaged with our work in the last 12 months, we were provided with plenty of encouragement and constructive feedback to fuel our process of continuous improvement.

We were reassured to hear that 94 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that ANROWS is credible and authoritative, with a similar 93 per cent of respondents finding our research and resources useful to their work. As one respondent said, outlining our value:

It is vital to the DV sector and its services and programs that ANROWS continue and be adequately resourced to meet its needs. It must stay connected also to people working on the ground with DV victims and survivors as well as offering advice on prevention and early intervention. Policy developers and advocates need its authoritative voice and resources and research.

For another respondent, ANROWS’s value was found in changing their view on a key issue affecting women experiencing domestic and family violence:

Finding your research on misidentification changed my stance on my situation. I had no idea that misidentification was such a prevalent issue until I found your research. Thank you for all your work. Thank you.

We are always looking at ways to strengthen our research dissemination and our knowledge translation activities. In response to the 2021 survey results we realised we needed to improve knowledge about the ANROWS Digital Library. In this year’s survey we saw a significant improvement (up 15%) in respondents indicating they had used the library in the last 12 months.

From the 2022 survey, one key theme that emerged related to stakeholders being time poor, and valuing the production of short, accessible publications that summarise the main findings and/or recommendations from the evidence base in plain English.

Stakeholders also made some constructive suggestions on how to improve both the quantity and quality of work done with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As one stakeholder explained:

Our focus is on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, which requires a cultural lens that is not necessarily or always available in ANROWS publications and resources.


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE NSW 2022 CONFERENCE

Primary prevention research still in infancy

Earlier this month ANROWS attended the Domestic Violence NSW (DVNSW) conference. Wiradjuri woman and Councillor Yvonne Weldon started the day by thanking conference attendees for “being the voice of our women and children living this heartache in the public eye”. The conference, which took place over two days, was held on Gadigal land.

The opening panel from DVNSW’s Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women’s Steering Committee had a clear message: “Making Aboriginal-identified positions is crucial.” One speaker, Regan, from the Weave Women & Children’s Centre explained that when she first started at the service, Aboriginal clients made up 70 per cent of their service users but only 11 per cent of those accessing their DFV program due to the “universal feeling of shame”.

The first day was focused on primary prevention. Keynote speaker Tania Farha, the CEO of Safe and Equal Victoria, explained that the recent increase in funding for national primary prevention initiatives through Our Watch is great, but states and territories also need to be coordinated and funded to get the nationwide shift we need.

“For my community we are still experiencing systems sector-based violence and having to navigate violence,” said Nat Webster from the Women and Girls Emergency Centre (WAGEC), explaining the sector isn’t safe for Aboriginal workers. That’s the context under which she delivers her respectful relationships program. Brenda Dobia from NAPCAN spoke to consent education, recently mandated across Australia, saying “the shift into curriculum sounds like a good idea but it comes with challenges”. Rather than implementing a system where teachers take up the full primary prevention load, Brenda advocated for using the existing model of backing teachers up with consent educators.

Moo Baulch from WAGEC talked up the Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation’s primary prevention project “Mums Can Dads Can/Girls Can Boys Can”, so we shared the ANROWS-funded evaluation of the program with conference attendees. We were also able to share in the conference social media stream that ANROWS is currently conducting an evaluation of a respectful relationships program in Victorian schools, led by Professor Helen Cahill.

The conference’s first-day focus on primary prevention concluded with a presentation mapping sexual violence prevention studies. Primary prevention research is “still in its infancy – very few effective interventions exist, especially at the community level,” explained Dr Ison, urging attendees to read her resulting Theory of Change report hosted on the Australian Government Department of Social Services website.

Opportunities

“IMPERFECT VICTIMS: CRIMINALIZED SURVIVORS AND THE PROMISE OF ABOLITION FEMINISIM”

On Wednesday 1 June, as part of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre’s 2022 Seminar Series, Professor Leigh Goodmark (Marjorie Cook Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Clinical Law Program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law) will explore how the United States criminal legal system punishes victims of gender-based violence and argue that the criminalisation of survivors can only be prevented through policies based in abolition feminism – that is, a feminism that does not rely on carceral systems to respond to harm.

For more information, and to register, visit the MGFVPC Seminar Series page.

 

LGBTIQ+ VICTORIANS’ EXPERIENCES WITH THE FAMILY VIOLENCE INTERVENTION ORDER SYSTEM

Dr Ellen Reeves (Monash University) is leading a project designed to better understand LGBTIQ+ Victorians’ experiences with the Victorian family violence intervention order (FVIO) system. As part of the project, the research team is conducting a survey of LGBTIQ+ adults (18 and over) who have experienced family violence and engaged with the Victorian FVIO system as an “affected family member” and/or “respondent”.

The survey is anonymous, and takes 20 minutes to complete. Questions will be asked regarding the circumstances in which respondents came to engage with the FVIO system; the outcome of their engagement with the system; experiences with and perceptions of system services and supports; and general views on the effectiveness of FVIOs in addressing family violence experienced by LGBTIQ+ people.

Please share the survey among your networks as appropriate.

 

FUTURE-PROOFING SAFETY: COVID-19 AND FAMILY VIOLENCE IN VICTORIA

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is inviting individuals who work in family violence or other related services (such as legal and family services) in Victoria to share their experiences of how their client service needs changed and how their services adapted to meet these changing needs during COVID-19. The survey is accessible through the AIFS website.

 

WORK WITH ANROWS!

As we head into the next National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children, here at ANROWS we are looking for individuals with skills and expertise in the DV sector. There are opportunities available in a number of areas of the organisation working across financial management, people and culture, ICT, website management, fundraising, governance, strategic planning, and ANROWS Research Programs.

There are four roles currently open at ANROWS:

  • Director, Corporate Operations
  • Director, Research and Evaluation
  • Website Development Officer
  • Executive Officer and Assistant to the CEO

More information on all of the roles is available through our Careers page. All positions will be located in our Sydney office, and applications close at midnight on Sunday 12 June.


New research and resources

This month we’ve added 13 new research reports, articles and resources to the ANROWS Digital Library. In this edition of Notepad we have links to new research published by a number of researchers who also have projects in the ANROWS Register of Active Research, as well as researchers who have previously collaborated with ANROWS. These newly published works cover topics including technology-facilitated abuse and adolescent violence in the home (AVITH).

Among these is the publication of a journal article related to a research project led by Professor Susan Rees (principal investigator) funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council. The paper (see link below) is “the first systematically recruited longitudinal study of women from refugee backgrounds with a comparison group of locally born women, allowing an examination of associations between traumatic events, intimate partner violence (IPV), mental disorders, functioning and settlement outcomes”.

You can view this list of new research in the Library, along with more than 10,000 records of sector-relevant resources and research.

 

Resources

Sentencing Advisory Council. (2022). Sentencing breaches of family violence intervention orders and safety notices: Third monitoring report. https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/publications/sentencing-breaches-of-family-violence-intervention-orders-and-safety-notices  

Vlais, R., Campbell, E., & Green, D. (2022). Signposts for assessing and reporting family and domestic violence perpetrator behaviour change. RMIT Centre for Innovative Justice, & Stopping Family Violence. https://cij.org.au/cms/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/signposts-for-mbcp-reporting-final-april-2022.pdf  

 

Books and reports

Bartlett, T., Fitz-Gibbon, K., & Walklate, S. (2022). Human rights law and domestic violence: The Australian context. In P. Gerber (Ed.), Contemporary Perspectives on human rights law in Australia (Vol. 2; pp. 219–240). https://legal.thomsonreuters.com.au/critical-perspectives-on-human-rights-law-in-australia-volume-2-book/productdetail/127776 

Vlais, R., Campbell, E., & Green, D. (2022). Reporting outcomes from change-focused family violence perpetrator program work with court referrals: A discussion paper. RMIT Centre for Innovative Justice, & Stopping Family Violence Inc. https://cij.org.au/cms/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/reporting-mbcp-outcomes-to-courts-final-april-2022.pdf  

 

 

Articles

Crocker, G. (2022). The dangers of pre-recorded evidence: As soon as practicable? Alternative Law Journal. https://doi.org/10.1177/1037969X221097461  

de Boer, K., Arnold, C., Mackelprang, J. L., & Nedeljkovic, M. (2022). Barriers and facilitators to treatment seeking and engagement amongst women with complex trauma histories. Health & Social Care in the Community. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.13823  

Zamora, C. L., Boddy, J., O’Leary, P., & Liang, J. (2022). Technology-facilitated abuse against women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds: A scoping review of the literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380221098045  

Morgan, A., Boxall, H., & Payne, J. L. (2022). Reporting to police by intimate partner violence victim-survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Criminology. https://doi.org/10.1177/26338076221094845 

Peck, A., Hutchinson, M., & Provost, S. (2022). Evidencing predictors of adolescent to parent violence re-offending through linkage of police and health records. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice. https://doi.org/10.1177/15412040221093009

Rees, S., Mohsin, M., Moussa, B., Fisher, J., Steel, Z., Nadar, N., Hassoun, F., Khalil, B., Youssef, M., & Krishna, Y. (2022). Cohort profile: Intimate partner violence and mental health among women from refugee background and a comparison group of Australian-born: The WATCH cohort study. BMJ Open, 12(5), e051887. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-051887  

Rogers, M. M., Fisher, C., Ali, P., Allmark, P., & Fontes, L. (2022). Technology-facilitated abuse in intimate relationships: A scoping review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380221090218  

Truong, M., Yeganeh, L., Cartwright, A., Ward, E., Ibrahim, J., Cuschieri, D., Dawson, M., & Bugeja, L. (2022). Domestic/family homicide: A systematic review of empirical evidence. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380221082084 

Zark, L., Toumbourou, J. W., & Satyen, L. (2022). Help-seeking for intimate partner and family violence among tertiary students in Australia: Nature, extent, and cross-cultural differences. Journal of Family Violence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-022-00406-5 

 


​In the media

Read

Australia’s “black spots” in sexual assault support—Herald Sun https://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/health/australias-black-spots-in-sexual-assault-support/news-story/6426e8d292530b49cc02e81f094c42dd 

The Batty effect: Sharing power with abuse survivors—Broad Agenda
https://www.broadagenda.com.au/2022/the-batty-effect-sharing-power-with-abuse-survivors/

Housing crisis faces Tasmanian women and children fleeing unsafe domestic situations, but some hope on horizon—ABC News
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-15/tasmania-womens-shelter-accommodation-help/101067210  

Important changes to family violence information sharing—Australian Unions https://www.australianunions.org.au/2022/05/16/why-paid-family-and-domestic-violence-leave-is-a-game-changer-for-women/  

‘No justice for my sister’: Australia’s forgotten women and the killers set free—The Australian https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/regional/why-some-australians-convicted-over-the-unlawful-deaths-of-women-never-go-to-jail/news-story/dc69013d56f3b21925fe0292f529ab2a

 

Listen

Podcast: Reproductive coercion—Safe and Together Institute
https://safeandtogetherinstitute.com/season-3-episode-4-reproductive-coercion/  

Podcast: Minisode on worker safety and well-being: Managing your own fears about the safety of the family—Safe and Together Institute
https://safeandtogetherinstitute.com/season-2-episode-5-minisode-on-worker-safety-well-being-managing-your-own-fears-about-the-safety-of-the-family/  

Podcast: Unbreakable—DVAssist
https://dvassist.org.au/unbreakable-podcast/ 

Podcast: Cause for alarm: Violence against women with disability—Fearless Minds (Flinders University)
https://www.flinders.edu.au/fearless/minds/cause-for-alarm  

 

Contribute to Notepad

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